Welcome back to Winter Term!
A message from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students)
Whether you are returning to campus for classes or studying remotely, I hope you’ve had a restful week, with the opportunity to recharge, catch up on some studying, and reconnect with friends and family.
While we are all encouraged by the easing of pandemic-related restrictions in our community, troubling events elsewhere in the world continue to occupy our minds. My thoughts are with our Ukrainian students and those with ties to Russia and Eastern Europe who have been affected by the invasion of Ukraine. UM has many student supports and I encourage you to reach out. We are here for you.
Those looking for avenues to show your support are encouraged to consider a donation to the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. Last week, the Federal government announced that it will match all eligible donations made between February 24 and March 18, 2022.
The Return to Campus
For those returning to in-person learning and studying, check out the return to campus website and the following information that you may find useful:
KN95 masks must be worn in all indoor spaces on UM campuses. The only exceptions are if you are alone in a room with the door closed, or eating in areas designated for food consumption. Masks are not required outdoors.
Several mask distribution tables will be located across campus. Say hi to the friendly staff members in blue shirts who, in addition to providing you with a KN95 mask, can offer you wayfinding advice and a campus map of study/computer lab locations that are open. Masks will be available at the tables Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. until March 11 at the locations on the covid-19 health and safety website. On that site you’ll also find a list of Libraries and other areas where you can pick up a mask, and the hours of operation for each.
If you are coming to campus and do not have a KN95 mask, you can wear your own cloth or 3-ply mask while you go immediately to the closest mask pick-up location. After the initial mask pick-up, it’s expected that you will have a supply of KN95 masks to wear, even when attending the distribution locations to access more masks.
Study spaces on campus
Study spaces are available to you on both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses. Detailed information can be found on this web page under “On-campus services”. The Libraries also have study spaces available.
If you are looking for a place to eat on either the Fort Garry or Bannatyne campus, please visit the where to eat on campus web page.
If you are commuting to campus for the remainder of Winter Term, you can now purchase a monthly student parking permit for March and April at the same per-month price as a full student permit. The March monthly permit includes February 28, so you won’t need to worry about paying for parking on that additional day.
If you are only going to be on campus certain days of the week, you can also purchase a flexible student parking permit that is valid for select days. Please visit the parking website for details on how to purchase a permit.
If you haven’t been to campus yet, or you would just like a refresher, Student Life is offering campus tours every Wednesday in March featuring key buildings, study spots and offices. Visit the return to campus website for details and to register.
Outside of class time, I encourage you to participate in the “Where’s Billy?” scavenger hunt that begins on Monday morning (February 28) on Instagram. Find all nine Billy the Bison posters at various campus locations by March 11 for your chance to win great prizes from the Bookstore.
Student services and supports
Below is an update on the status of Student Affairs services and supports for the remainder of Winter Term:
Office of the Registrar and Enrolment Services
Financial Aid and Awards, the Registrar’s Office and Admissions offices will continue to offer services remotely for the remainder of Winter Term, with the following exceptions:
Students who request emergency pick-ups of Transcripts, Enrolment Verifications and other documents.
Student Counselling, Student Accessibility Services, Student Advocacy and Case Management, Spiritual Care, Health and Wellness, the Sexual Violence Resource Centre, and Student Services at Bannatyne will continue to offer services and programming remotely, however:
In-person front office staffing and/or drop-in hours are available for students on campus who visit these offices. Please contact the offices directly to identify available times.
University Health Service (UHS) is open for virtual or in-person appointments in its temporary location in the trailer (ACW parking lot).
Student Engagement & Success
All programming and services will continue to be delivered remotely, including tutoring supports, and advising activities, however:
The First Year Centre and Career Services receptions are open for those students who are on campus.
The International Centre reception will be open in April.
Some Student Life programming (e.g., tours and programming for students engaged in in-person learning) will be taking place on campus.
If you are feeling stress or anxiety, whether you are returning to campus or are continuing with remote learning, there are many student supports in place to help you and a range of self-care tips you can add to your toolkit. Regardless of your level of need there is support available.
Attention Graduate Students
The UMGSA, in collaboration with campus partners, is offering two virtual workshops on March 8th as part of their new Mental Health Morning program:
- Resiliency & Hope: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
- Climate Anxiety: 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Be sure to take care of your physical and mental health during this time. Recreation Services offers in-person and virtual options to help you stay active and relieve stress.
Register to attend a session on March 3rd from 3-4 p.m. with Peer Helpers and campus experts to learn more about joining clubs, volunteering opportunities, recreation and more!
We are all Bisons!
Cheer on the Bisons later this month when the best in the country come to play. Visit gobisons.ca for details:
- Canada West Track and Field Championships March 18-19
- U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship March 25-27
Throughout the remainder of Winter Term I will share updates with you by email, but I encourage you to continue visiting the COVID-19 website for up-to-date health and safety information, and follow @umstudent on Instagram.
Welcome back. I wish you all the best as you resume your Winter Term studies.
Take good care.